Wed, 22nd May 2024 16:17 (GMT +7)

[In Pictures] Mid-autumn Festival's traditional toys "cover" Hang Ma Street

Wednesday, 27/09/2023 | 11:17:32 [GMT +7] A  A

Every Mid-Autumn Festival, Hang Ma Street (Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi) is filled with all kinds of toys with a variety of eye-catching designs and styles. Along with modern imported products, traditional toys are still the top choice of many people.

Traditional toys dyed in the shops red colour.
"Every year I go to Hang Ma Street to buy traditional lanterns. They are my childhood memories, each type is associated with a meaningful story," shared Thu Giang of Dong Da District.
"Den cu” (spinning wheel lantern) is one of the traditional Mid-Autumn toys. Making a “den cu” takes a lot of work. The process starts with the sharpening of bamboo sticks to smaller and thinner ones. These are knit together into a spinning-top shape. Then, colourful paper is stuck to the frame. Next is to attach a wooden wheel to the frame and tie it with steel wire core so that the lamp can move when pushed back and forth.
There are many stories about star lanterns, but all stories are related to the sparkling stars in the night sky that children have loved since ancient times. Each lantern has five wings, symbolizing the five elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. Therefore, star lanterns symbolize harmony and balance in relationships in life between people and between people and all things.
Carp lanterns. A legend goes that a carp spirit killed many people during Mid-Autumn night so that no household dared go outside that night. Later, a wise man came up with an idea: he made a carp-shaped lantern with a stick in its belly and then advised people to walk at night with a carp lantern in hand. The carp spirit was terrified by the light of the lantern and dared not go out to kill people at Mid-autumn since then.
The scholar, called 'tien sy giay' in Vietnamese, is a symbol of people in advanced studies. The paper scholar wears a traditional hat and costume like those who did well in local and royal examinations in feudal times. In the past, families displayed paper scholars during Mid-Autumn Festival parties to encourage children to study hard and get success in their future careers.
The papier mask symbolizes the fullness and purity of the full moon night, and the beginning of a bountiful harvest. Unlike cheap plastic masks from China, paper masks are made from safe paper material. Paper is torn into shreds, then stacked on top of each other to create thickness and adhesion
The paper lion head and drum contribute to creating a vibrant atmosphere for the full moon festival. The red lion's head dances gracefully and rhythmically to the sound of the drum, bringing excitement to the dance performance as well as a prosperous beginning.
Some animal-shaped lanterns are designed to be small in size, replacing the bamboo frame with a plastic bar with flexible joints.
In addition to lanterns, lion heads, and papier masks, the adorable details of 'to he' (toy figurines) also attract the attention of both adults and children. Children mould the animals themselves according to their wishes, under the guidance of the artist.
Making a 'five-fruit tray'-shaped 'to he' model for the Mid-Autumn Festival seems simple but requires effort. To create the product, the ingredients must include careful measures of glutinous rice flour, white sugar, water, tapioca starch, and food colouring. The smaller the fruit tray, the more time it will take to make.
Each line on the 'to he' model of the 'Chi Hang' (Moon goddess) and rabbit was carefully and meticulously moulded by the artist. The combination with lotus flowers in the work further emphasizes the cultural beauty of the Vietnamese people.
Children are unable to resist the colourful 'to he', so they immediately picked them up and tried to play.
The children were led to the shops by their grandparents and parents, freely choosing toys. The atmosphere of shopping before the Mid-Autumn Festival is bustling throughout Hang Ma Street.
Source: Nhan Dan